Friday, 21 August 2015


Do you enjoy waiting? I never mind waiting in a shopping line for the check out. I sort of go into a day dream while I stand there, but waiting for a red light to turn green when there’s no one else around?! That makes me impatient.

When I left Australia on August 1st, I expected to arrive to the ship and sail away from Durban, South Africa only a couple of days later, but when I arrived the ship was still in dry dock and not ready to be back in the water. We were delayed a minimum of 2 weeks and some days it sounded so bad that it looked like we might be there much longer.

DORMAC dry dock

DORMAC Dry dock

Full hard hat policy in the shipyard

I’m all about mental preparation. I’m okay with being spontaneous but if I get called up last minute for a shift at work, it throws me right off. If I’m mentally prepared for a long run in the afternoon, I can do it, but don’t spring it on me, I can’t handle it. So arriving at the ship and hearing that we could be in Durban for weeks more was a big mental shift. Many nurses have been re-allocated to other departments and are working in the dining room or galley, but I have stayed in the hospital department working on a resource project. It’s been great for learning and growing my knowledge but I find it extremely hard to sit in front of a computer all day reading research articles and writing documents. So it’s been hard. Each ship meeting that I have been to, we have heard new challenges and set-backs and all sorts of problems. So last week our managing director called an impromptu prayer meeting at 0745. My community gathered together and sat before God before our day started and we asked and listened to what He had to say.

Trying to make the most of hard hats becoming every day wear.

The waiting period this year has been very small in comparison to the months the crew on the ship spent last year when the Ebola virus hit the hardest and we had to change our course. During that time I was at home, lapping up the luxuries of my family and friends while my ship community were challenged and stretched. This year I have had a small taste of it and I have learned to make the most of the situation before me.

The waiting wasn’t all bad. I managed to squeeze a few adventures into my weekends. We made a trip up into the Drakensberg mountains and traveled into the country of Lesotho for the day. We took a hike among some pretty mountains and spent a weekend meandering through the midlands, checking out waterfalls and cafes.


We found some snow!

And had to have a snowball fight

Can you see who's face this is?

I’m thankful that we were able to find such great things to do during our time in Durban and that in the end the waiting wasn’t so bad.
It also highlighted to me just how much I love my job as a nurse. I have walked into D ward a few times since we packed it all up and tied it down for the sail. Each time that I walk in, I am hit with a thousand memories of a place that I have poured my heart into. I have carried lives of people who have walked in and out of that place, but who will stay with me forever.

Today we finally set sail for Madagascar. Right now we are bobbing around on the ocean, sighting whales left right and centre (it’s whale migration) and I couldn’t be happier.

Three whales. Captured from my bed! (With a long zoom)

Whale tail

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